Computer Hardware and Scratch Coding Workshop Spearheads Teacher Training at Mokopane Primary School

A two-day training workshop focusing on Computer Hardware and Scratch Coding was organised at Mokopane Primary School in Limpopo province by the Limpopo Department of Education. Taking place on 25-26 April 2023, the event forms part of the Coding and Robotics Pilot programme and saw the participation of 23 educators from 16 schools in and around the Mogalakwena Education District.

The Coding and Robotics Pilot programme was initiated within the district in 2021, and this workshop was a continuation of the professional development provided. Mr Dibata Johannes Lephondo, coordinator for Coding and Robotics in the Mogalakwena Education District, emphasised the importance of equipping educators with the knowledge of the basic components of computers. The training aimed to empower them to solve computer-related issues they might encounter in their schools, while also promoting the integration of Coding and Robotics into the curricula.

Currently, the Coding and Robotics initiative is being piloted in 11 primary schools and 5 secondary schools in the district, which have been receiving orientation and training in the subjects over the past two years. Mokopane Primary School, a participant in the programme, has been actively involved in Coding and Robotics competitions, including the First LEGO League contests, to promote the district’s stature as a leader in the implementation of the subjects in South Africa.

One of the workshop’s presentations was conducted by Mr Thato Mkhondo, a Coding and Robotics educator at Mokopane Primary School. Mkhondo provided a refresher course on Block Coding using Scratch, demonstrating how various block codes are used to create interactive stories, games, and animations. “This workshop serves as a stepping stone in the right direction for establishing a solid foundation for learners regarding the teaching and implementation of Coding and Robotics,” said Mkhondo.

In their commitment to harnessing technology in education, the Limpopo Department of Education and the Mogalakwena Education District are making strides in preparing South African learners for a digital future.